Challenges of Online Learning and Solutions

Online Learning Challenges & Solutions: For Teachers

In the wake of the sudden Coronavirus pandemic, our everyday lives have become radically different. Everything has drastically changed in the past two years, from shopping to exercising to working, and that is true even for school. Because of the shift toward online learning, education has been turned on its head, as a result of which both teachers and students are suffering. Irrespective of whether you are in K-12 or college, learning online is very different from learning in a classroom.

Students and educational staff are seeking solutions to the challenges associated with digital learning, such as staying focused while studying at home or having limited access to the internet and reliable devices. Fortunately, unexpected times demand creative problem-solving, and many have proposed innovative ways to overcome the challenges associated with digital schools. 

Here are some challenges and solutions for making learning at school possible and effective for both teachers and students:

1. Engaging Students During Online Class

Teachers may find it difficult to adapt to a brand-new learning platform as students are moving toward online learning from traditional classrooms. In some cases, online teaching can be less effective in influencing and engaging students for longer periods of time. Students are most likely to become distracted or lose concentration during live sessions.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

In terms of tools and platforms to engage students in studying, online learning has a lot of advantages. Consider using these tools and multiple learning approaches such as podcasts, videos (teaching channel, own videos, live classes), discussions, various forms of text (articles, blog posts), various assessment methods (tests, quizzes, assignments, and projects), as well as collaborative learning activities.

2. Lack of Right Teaching Methods in Online Learning

The majority of teachers follow traditional classroom-style teaching methods, using only a blackboard and a book to instruct. Most importantly, some teachers find it difficult to adapt to completely virtual and technology-driven teaching methods.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

The most significant factor is to become comfortable with a virtual classroom. Teachers should identify different types of tools that facilitate teaching and assessment. There are many teaching methods that can be implemented to improve students’ learning, such as conducting different activities, making models, debating, participating in group activities, taking virtual tours, discussing in groups, and performing role play.

3. Teacher Communication Problem During Online Learning Class

Having a detailed syllabus makes it easier for teachers to communicate with students. Some teachers do not have enough time to prepare content for their students. Also, students avoid communicating with teachers when they are learning online. The absence of body language in online teaching causes students to misunderstand, which can further cause them to underperform. Occasionally, students will request extensions or give reasons for their delays.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

Allow students to ask for a flexible deadline if they fail to meet their deadlines. Keeping in touch with the students is imperative, and teachers must know what kind of activities will accomplish their goals. Engage students in discussions about specific content and provide them with the opportunity to learn effectively. Also, allowing students to discuss practical questions can reduce frustration, increase problem-solving skills, and assist in handling technical issues. Provide students with a communication and collaboration platform that will allow them to communicate with each other.

4. Learning Management Systems

Teachers often have problems explaining their content to students, especially when it comes to assignments and assessments. In terms of the content of the courses, there has been confusion among students regarding the level of difficulty. In online learning, teachers report that they are not able to take advantage of the incidental interaction opportunities that happen in face-to-face communication.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

It is imperative to understand the importance of learning management systems and web technologies to help you in your teaching. Be sure to take advantage of all the workshops and training sessions you attend during teacher training. Learn effective ways of teaching and managing your classroom. In addition, you can speak with other teachers who are familiar with the online learning management system.

5. Comprehensive Course Content Issue in Online Learning

The course content was developed earlier in comparison to traditional classrooms. However, the shift from on-campus to online learning means that courses need to be redesigned, a process that takes a significant amount of effort and time. Having started well in advance would have resulted in more effective learning outcomes. Online courses generally fail to meet the needs of these courses’ needs compared to traditional classroom settings. Online assignments, content-related activities, and projects cannot be completed when this occurs. 

How to Overcome the Challenge?

Understanding the course content and its relation to your online course is essential. Ensure you make a few modifications in terms of activities and assignments so that the concepts are better understood.

6. Assessment Challenge in Online Learning

Students and teachers alike emphasize the importance of assessment in online learning. At times, it can be stressful for students. Teachers may have to deal with a lot of questions from students whenever they have assignments or projects. Since students and teachers do not communicate as often, expectations for students’ performance also differ. Students can experience less homework, fewer assignments, or lack of exams from time to time. When this happens, teachers may have difficulty assessing students.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

Prepare FAQs for the common questions students might ask and understand the type of questions they have. Ensure regular tests and assignments are given. By doing so, you can assess students’ performance.

7. Time Commitment Issue in Online Learning

When the course is taught in person, you might not fully appreciate the time commitment. The process of converting those learnings to an online format is still challenging. For teachers, there should be enough time to properly plan the content and methods they will use to teach the students. Otherwise, they will not be able to provide students with useful information on time. It is said that online teaching takes longer than face-to-face teaching. In the case of students exceeding their deadlines for submitting projects or assignments, it can lead to more work for them.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

Communicate with your students in a friendly tone to establish rapport. A learning management system can be used to set deadlines for assignments. Inform your students a week before the due date.

Students today demand greater freedom in their education as opposed to rigid curriculums and limited subject choices. Today’s learners may be digital natives, but the use of technology for online learning can be overwhelming and challenging to motivate. However, when instructors provide the right support, learners can succeed within these online classes.

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